Theodore Simon Jouffroy, a French philosopher of the eclectic school, born in the hamlet of Les Pontets, Doubs, July 6, 1796, died in Paris, Feb. 4, 1842. After attending the college of Nozeroy, he was confided in 1807 to the care of his uncle, an ecclesiastic and professor in the college of Pontarlier, with whom he remained four years, and was then transferred to the college of Dijon. Rollin was the first author in whom he took delight, and history continued through his life to be a constant and favorite study. He had already attempted a tragedy, when in 1814 he was selected as a brilliant pupil for admission into the normal school. Theological meditations had led him to the highest problems, and he describes himself as at this time uncertain about the enigma of human destiny, yet detesting incredulity, and resolute to solve the question by the light of reason, since he had lost that of faith. He was thus in a condition to be strongly impressed by the youngest of his masters, Victor Cousin, whose eloquent lectures decisively directed his vocation to philosophy.
In 1817 he became pupil-assistant in the philosophical department of the normal school, at the same time lecturing in the Bourbon college, and fulfilled both tasks till his health obliged him to resign the latter in 1820. By the suppression of the normal school in 1822, he was deprived of public employment for five years, and in the interval he delivered a private course of lectures, attended by the elite of the young men of the capital; published philosophical articles in the Globe and other journals and reviews, one of which, entitled Comment les dogmes finissent, added much to his reputation; translated the "Moral Philosophy" of Dugald Stewart (Paris, 1826), to which he furnished an elaborate preface;'and began his translation of the complete works of Thomas Reid (6 vols., Paris, 1828-35), to which he added several of the lectures of Royer-Collard, and a preface in which he undertook a complete examination of the Scottish philosophy. In 1828 he was made assistant professor of ancient philosophy in the faculty of letters of Paris, and, interested rather in philosophy than its history, treated of the faculties of the soul in a course of lectures on the first "Alcibiades" of Plato; and in 1830 became adjunct professor of the history of modern philosophy, and delivered his Cours de droit naturel (2 vols., 1835; vol. iii., edited by Damiron, 1842), his most eloquent work, which treats at once of ethics, psychology, and theodicy.
In 1831 he was elected to the chamber of deputies, and in 1833 was appointed to the chair of Greek literature and philosophy in the college de France, and elected to the academy of moral and political sciences. In 1835 he was obliged to seek a restoration of his health in Italy, and on his return in 1838 resigned his professorship to succeed Laromiguiere as librarian of the university. His feeble voice and calm and methodical mind alike unfitted him to excel in the chamber of deputies, though from his abilities and personal character he always commanded attention. In 1840 he was called into the royal council of public instruction, and, being appointed to draw up the address of the new ministry, maintained that its administration should be distinguished by some broad difference from that which had preceded it. Finding himself in a minority, his disappointment had a fatal influence on his already broken health. His principal works not already mentioned are the Melanges philosophiques (1833), containing 28 essays, most of which had before appeared in periodicals; the Nouveaux melanges philosophiques, edited by Damiron (1842); and the Cours d'esthetique, also edited by Damiron (1843). His Cours de droit natu-rel has been translated into English under the title of " An Introduction to Ethics," by W. H. Channing, and a selection from his essays under that of "Philosophical Miscellanies," by G. Ripley, in Ripley's "Specimens of Foreign Literature " (Boston, 1838-'40).